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Applying Syntaxx2013Prosody Mapping Hypothesis and Prosodic Well-Formedness Constraints to Neural Sequence-to-Sequence Speech Synthesis

by   Kei Furukawa, et al.

End-to-end text-to-speech synthesis (TTS), which generates speech sounds directly from strings of texts or phonemes, has improved the quality of speech synthesis over the conventional TTS. However, most previous studies have been evaluated based on subjective naturalness and have not objectively examined whether they can reproduce pitch patterns of phonological phenomena such as downstep, rhythmic boost, and initial lowering that reflect syntactic structures in Japanese. These phenomena can be linguistically explained by phonological constraints and the syntaxx2013prosody mapping hypothesis (SPMH), which assumes projections from syntactic structures to phonological hierarchy. Although some experiments in psycholinguistics have verified the validity of the SPMH, it is crucial to investigate whether it can be implemented in TTS. To synthesize linguistic phenomena involving syntactic or phonological constraints, we propose a model using phonological symbols based on the SPMH and prosodic well-formedness constraints. Experimental results showed that the proposed method synthesized similar pitch patterns to those reported in linguistics experiments for the phenomena of initial lowering and rhythmic boost. The proposed model efficiently synthesizes phonological phenomena in the test data that were not explicitly included in the training data.


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